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Getting High Grades in English

posted May 7, 2013, 6:48 AM by Pilinda Rose Dominguez
by: Mrs. Marian C. Robles

The English language is used everywhere. When we meet people from other countries, or in abroad, we need English for communication. English is used in films, literature, songs, sports, business, products, trades and entertainment, and through these channels many English words and expressions have found their way into our own language. When we want information on something of private or professional interest, we often search for it in English. Moreover, English is increasingly used in education and working life, or in abroad.
To succeed in a world where English is used for international interpersonal communication, it is necessary to master the English language. Thus we need to develop our vocabulary and our skills in using the systems of the English language; its phonology, grammar and text structuring. We need these skills to listen, speak, read and write, and to adapt our language to an ever increasing number of topics, areas of interest and communication situations. We must be able to distinguish between spoken and written styles and informal and formal styles. Moreover, when using the language in communication, we must also be able to take cultural norms and conventions into consideration.

When we are aware of the strategies we use to learn a foreign language, and the strategies that help us to understand and be understood, the acquisition of knowledge and skills will be easier and more meaningful. It is also important for each of us to establish our own goals for learning, to determine how these can be satisfied and to assess the way we use the language. Learning English may also give us better insight into our native language and other languages we know, thus becoming an important element in our personal development and making a significant contribution to our communicative abilities.

In addition to learning the English language, this subject will also contribute insight into the way we live and how others live, and their views on life, values and cultures. Learning about the English-speaking world will provide a good basis for understanding the world around us and how English developed into a world language. Literature in English, from nursery rhymes to Shakespeare' sonnets, may instil a lifelong joy of reading and provide a deeper understanding of oneself and others. English texts, films, music and other art forms may also inspire the pupil's own artistic expression and creativity in many genres and media.

Thus English as a school subject is both a tool and a way of gaining knowledge and personal insight. It will enable the pupils to communicate with others on personal, social, literary and interdisciplinary topics. It will give insight into how individuals think and live in the English-speaking world. Communicative skills and cultural insight can promote greater interaction, understanding and respect between people with different cultural backgrounds. In this way linguistic and cultural competence contributes to the all-round personal development and fosters democratic commitment and a better understanding of responsible citizenship.
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